October Gardening Tip

Fall needle drop:

oct1_lgJust as deciduous trees change color and loose their leaves in the fall, so do evergreens. By mid to late October, most evergreens start to turn yellow on the inside of the plant. This is a perfectly natural occurrence; as the needles drop and build up under the plant, they act as very good natural mulch. These needles will retain moisture and break down to add organic matter to the plant.

Planting spring bulbs:

Fall is the time of the year for planting Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths, Crocuses, and many other varieties of spring flowering bulbs. Check the bags for planting instructions, it is important to plant these bulbs at the right depth. Never put fertilizer directly in the bottom of the planting hole as this will burn the roots as they emerge. It is better to top dress with a granular fertilizer in the spring as the bulbs emerge or mix a slow-release fertilizer into the soil before planting. Make sure you plant enough bulbs to make a good showing. When too few bulbs are planted, you don’t get the colorful effect you expected. Plant bulbs in groupings rather then in straight lines. Some bulbs, other than those in the daffodil family, can be damaged by rodents (mice, squirrels, and chipmunks) looking for food during the winter months. Also, deer can be very destructive mainly to Tulip and Crocus bulbs. Try to plant these varieties closer to the house or in higher traffic areas to keep these animals away. Lay wire fencing over the area to keep deer and rodents from digging and destroying the bulbs. [Read more…]